A week ago I wrote that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was being put on fast track for passage by the 111th Congress. With a snap of their fingers (actually, pushing their “yes” buttons), members of Congress did just that and sent Lilly over to the Senate, where Harry Reid and other leaders are confident of having the necessary votes to choke off a Republican filibuster.
(To recount, the Fair Pay Act reverses a Supreme Court decision regarding when the statute of limitations begins on pay discrimination complaints. The court said it begins once the pay-discrimination decision is made; the new law says it begins anew each time a paycheck is issued.)
Meanwhile, this opening salvo in the pro-employee, pro-union, pro-trial-lawyer assault on Bush’s eight pro-business years is already drawing criticism and producing warnings.
So far, I haven’t heard the word “Armageddon” used in connection with the Fair Pay Act (as it was used toward the Employee Free Choice Act), but here’s one dire warning from Forbes.com:
Libertarian Richard A. Epstein calls the passage “Democratic Death Wish On Labor Relations.”
Interesting stuff. Epstein is a libertarian and a professor of law at the University of Chicago. He predicts that companies will now have to spend more time preparing for legal action and more time defending themselves in court in cases involving lots of “stale evidence.”
He writes that “every dollar that is spent in litigating the past is one less dollar for hiring new workers.”
Everytime a new labor law comes up for a vote, just remember who contributed the most to the Democrats and Barack Obama in the November 2008 election–unions and trial lawyers. Then you can see who’s really going to benefit from any laws or economic stimulus packages coming out of D.C.